The Weider Principles – Joe’s Page
At age 13, I began my lifelong commitment to weight training. It was the mid-1930s and my first passion was weightlifting. Later, while still maintaining my love for weightlifting, I began to concentrate on bodybuilding.
In those early pre-World War II days of the sport, we had great trainers such as Alan Calvert, who pioneered weightlifting and published Strength magazine. Other trainers followed in his footsteps. There were David P. Willoughby, George F. Jowett, Mark Berry and Bob Hoffman of Strength & Health. All these figures made their mark and contributed much to the advancement of bodybuilding and weightlifting, but they all functioned within the rigid confines of what had gone before.
By the early ’40s, I had already envisioned that bodybuilding could be so much more. I knew that unless someone was prepared to blaze new trails, put the old methods aside and replace them with techniques based on scientific data, then bodybuilding would continue to stagnate and never move forward.
Having practiced both weightlifting and bodybuilding for a decade, I was able to research and understand a host of different techniques. I viewed the methods in use, assessed them for effectiveness and then added, modified and/or streamlined as necessary. This early study was the genesis of what would eventually become the Weider Training Principles–the methods that created modern bodybuilding.
It was by investigating and assessing all the training methods in use and compiling them into one comprehensive catalog that I formulated the Weider Training Principles. These principles offered a scientific approach to building muscle, and they have stood the test of time.
Despite a myth to the contrary, I never claimed to have invented all these principles: I did invent some of them, but not all of them. What I did was identify all of them, develop them and give them a precise place in the lexicon of bodybuilding.
For example, before I gave the Cheating Training Principle its name, it had been used instinctively by many trainers. To prolong a set, they would (as their strength to complete full reps waned) “cheat” out a couple of final reps. I examined this action and explained how best the Cheating Training Principle should be employed, which lifts were best suited to its use and which weren’t. I brought a science into a procedure that had previously been haphazard in its execution.
I believe that formulating the Weider Training Principles was one of my greatest contributions to the sport, but I compiled them by using as their foundation the experiences of others who had gone before. As I constantly remind people who refer to me as a leader, “To be a leader, you have to allow people to lead you.”
COPYRIGHT 2003 Weider Publications
COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group